These easy chocolate crêpes from Tom Aikens, made with butter, sugar, flour, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, eggs, and milk, are a simple and spectacular chocolate-lover’s dessert (though we may have been caught indulging in them at breakfast, too).
Rolled or flat. Filled or unfilled. Smothered in chocolate sauce or straight up. However, you think you’d like to take these easy chocolate crêpes is exactly what you ought to do with them. As for us, we’re partial to pretty darn simple—either plain or maybe drizzled with melted chocolate as a no-fuss flourish. Call us crazy. Tasting is believing.–Renee Schettler
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Easy Chocolate Crêpes FAQs
Why do you rest crêpe batter?
Resting the batter is a crucial part of making crêpes. By resting the batter, you allow the flour to bloom, which means to absorb the liquid fully. It also gives the gluten a chance to relax, so no rubbery crêpes.
How thin should crêpe batter be?
Your batter should be smooth with no lumps and have the consistency of heavy cream.
How can I make my crêpes lighter?
For a lighter crêpe batter, substitute a few tablespoons of club soda for a few tablespoons of the milk.
What’s the point of a crêpe pan and is it worth it?
A classic crêpe pan is specially designed to turn out perfect-sized crêpe. Also, its low flared sides make flipping crêpes a cinch. And the thin bottom heats quickly and evenly and when properly seasoned is the ideal nonstick surface. Don’t feel like buying another pan? An 8-to-10-inch nonstick skillet with rounded or flared sides will work well.
Easy Chocolate Crêpes
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter plus more for the pans
- 2 ounces dark (70% cocoa solids) chocolate broken into pieces
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery) plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder (preferably natural)
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 3 free-range eggs plus 2 egg yolks beaten
- 2 cups 1% milk plus more as needed
- Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the chocolate and heat until melted. Remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt, if using.
☞TESTER TIP: Questioning whether to add that pinch of salt? Seriously consider it. The salt really draws out the distinct notes of whatever chocolate you choose to use.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and then stir in the beaten eggs, then the 2 cups milk, and then the melted chocolate mixture. Pour the batter through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon. Let the batter rest at room temperature for an hour or two.
- When you’re ready to cook, heat a large nonstick skillet and rub with a little butter. Line a plate with parchment paper and place it alongside the stove.
- Add enough batter to the pan to thinly coat the surface when you tilt it from side to side. (This gets easier with practice.) Cook the crêpe for a minute on each side, using a thin spatula to carefully flip it or, if you dare, a flick of the wrist to send the crêpe into the air.
- Slide the crêpe onto the parchment-lined plate and sprinkle with more sugar.
- Continue to cook the crepes in the same fashion until all the batter is used, layering them on the plate and sprinkling each one with a pinch of sugar as you go. You may wish to swipe the pan with a touch of butter in between crêpes.
- Serve the crepes immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This recipe for easy chocolate crêpes is very simple and would make a great brunch dish or a dessert. The salt really brings out the chocolate flavor.
I used a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in place of regular wheat flour. The gluten-free flour blend made lovely crêpes; in fact, they would be indistinguishable from those containing gluten.
Though I filled mine with bourbon cream and fresh blueberries, sweetened ricotta and toasted almonds or hazelnuts would be fabulous, as would fresh raspberries or strawberries, perhaps drizzled with a poppyseed-lime simple syrup. As fresh mint (or even basil) goes so well with chocolate, a few torn leaves with alcohol-macerated fruit would be wonderful.
Now I have several chocolate crêpes in the freezer for future enjoyment, as they freeze so well.
These easy chocolate crêpes are a delicious dessert, lunch, or brunch dish that’s easy, upscale, unfussy, and user-friendly. No previous knowledge is necessary and one need not be fearful of how to put together the batter or cook the crêpe.
I used Ghirardelli 70% and Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa. I whisked with a fork between the additions of egg, milk, and the melted butter/chocolate combo. My batter was a bit lumpy at this point. I wondered at that point if I should have mixed in a blender, rather than using a fork? A Julia Child crêpe recipe I used several years ago had me both mixing in a blender and sieving. Then when I passed the batter through the sieve, I had to push the last part through—the chocolate solids hadn’t quite blended in, and I was concerned I’d have a lumpy mess when I cooked them as well. This did not end up being an issue at all.
I rested the batter at room temperature for exactly a couple of hours. I remember my mother making a similar batter, for Swedish pancakes and keeping it in the fridge at the ready for days on end, so I also think this could be a keeper. If refrigerated, I think it might be good to allow the batter to come up a bit closer to room temperature before cooking. Conversely, we’ve made crêpes in cooking class with little to no rest time, and they too came out quite nicely!
After the rest period, I heated up my pan on the stove. As with any type of pancake, the first few are for the cook. Generally tasty but not so attractive as you work to get the temperature and timing just right. I started at a medium-ish temperature. The amount of batter needed to make these thin cakes is about a quarter cup. Any more and the cakes will either be too large to be easily wielded or too thick to be a bona fide crêpe. After ladling into the pan, quickly swirl and twirl the batter to make a nice thin and round-ish shape, without worrying too much about making a precise circle. Making a thin crepe is more important. This may require taking the pan off the burner briefly for the swirling and twirling, then setting it right back down to cook for the specified minute.
When the batter appears to have set, flip over. My first crêpe flipped atop itself, then folded, then tore, but after that, I was a bit more gentle and didn’t experience flipping problems again. I couldn’t wait to try the first, malformed, misfolded, and torn crêpe, and so I quickly sprinkled a bit of the sugar atop it and tasted—it was delicious!
The texture was just right. The flavor was richly chocolatey and, happily, not too sweet. The combination of the 70% chocolate solids plus cocoa is a winner! I’ve made chocolate crepes previously with just cocoa powder and they were flat in flavor and unappealing visually. This recipe has just the right balance of chocolate flavor and sweetness. For me, these are best solo—no need for the partnership of a filling or topping. They’re impressive and sophisticated and don’t need any dressing up.
That said, anything that goes with chocolate would work out just fine: whipped cream, berries, cherries, Nutella, caramel, chocolate fudge sauce, chocolate chips, banana, pear, ricotta, mascarpone, coconut, hazelnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, chopped, slivered, or sliced almonds, the possibilities are pleasantly endless here! If you want them sweeter, here’s a chance to add sweetness; if you like them as they are, and this is how I thought they were perfect, then just cook and serve.
I love crêpes and the idea of making a different take on the classic by adding chocolate intrigued me. I enjoyed the addition of the salt (a pinch) to the batter. Gave it that delicious sweet/salty flavor that is so delightful.
I ended up topping my chocolate crêpes with a homemade bourbon/vanilla whipped cream (whipped cream with a teaspoon of bourbon vanilla–yum).
Ultimately, I would love to try these with the same whipped cream, but also with a few pecan pieces and maybe some toffee chips. A great recipe that I will keep in mind for several desserts to come.
Originally published February 9, 2020